Walter Brown never wanted to live in a nursing home, but when he had a stroke two years ago, he saw little choice. Mr. Brown, 72, could not walk, use his left arm or transfer himself into his wheelchair.
“It was like being in jail,” Mr. Brown said on a recent afternoon. “In the nursing home you’ve got to do what they say when they say it, go to bed when they tell you, eat what they want you to eat. The food was terrible.”
But recently state workers helped Mr. Brown find a two-bedroom apartment in public housing here, which he shares with his daughter. “It just makes me more relaxed, more confident in myself,” he said, speaking with some difficulty, but with a broad smile. “More confident in the future.” A growing number of states are reaching out to people like Mr. Brown, who have been in nursing homes for more than six months, aiming to disprove the notion that once people have settled into a nursing home, they will be there forever. Since 2007, Medicaid has teamed up with 29 states to finance such programs, enabling the low-income elderly and people with disabilities to receive many services in their own homes.
“Medicaid has had an institutional bias in favor of nursing homes,” even for people who do not need them, said Gene Coffey, a staff lawyer at the nonprofit National Senior Citizens Law Center. “Federal law requires states to provide nursing home services. They don’t have to provide home or community-based services.”
Full Article and Source:
Elderly Leave Nursing Homes for a Home